Maybe itâ€™s because Facebook is going public and Zuckerberg no longer has to think about making millions. Â Or maybe it’s just because he felt like doing something good! Â Whatever the reason, the ladies at this Albany marketing firmÂ love to see when social media intersects with social responsibility and the power of social media is harnessed for the greater good.Â Earlier this month, FacebookÂ announced a program that encouraged all Â Facebook users to start advertising their donor status on their personal pages, a move that they hoped would create peer pressure for Facebook users to become organ donors.
How cool is that?Â Facebook is effecting public health and doing something that will help millions of Americans (and Brits!).Â Under the new feature, Facebookers will be able to declare and update their organ donation status and post it to their Timeline. The information will appear with other biographical information in the Health and Wellness section of the user profile.
In a statement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, wrote:
Today, more than 114,000 people in the United States, and millions more around the globe, are waiting for the heart, kidney or liver transplant that will save their lives. Many of those people â€“ an average of 18 people per day â€“ will die waiting, because there simply aren’t enough organ donors to meet the need. Medical experts believe that broader awareness about organ donation could go a long way toward solving this crisis. And we believe that by simply telling people that you’re an organ donor, the power of sharing and connection can play an important role.
How successful has the new program been? Â On the day the program was launched, 6,000 people had enrolled through 22 state registries, according to Donate Life America.Â This is up exponentially from the 400 a day total sign-ups those states receive on average dayÂ put together.Â Since the campaign was kicked off at the beginning of the month, online state donor registries experienced a remarkable 23-fold surge.Â And even better, weeks later, traffic continues to remain high on organ donation (as many PR gurus know, typically, web-based promotions tend to peak in interest in the first few hours).
As we are a Capital Region business, we always like to tie our issues back to our Albany roots!Â Many professionals from the Capital Region have a vested interest in organ donation taking off.Â Carol Lafleur, the Executive Director of the Northeast Kidney Foundation, has been working on organ donation issues for years. Â When speaking with her, she explained that the Facebook campaign has had a huge impact on what she does. “It is absolutely fantastic what Facebook did to increase awareness of organ donation,” Lafleur explains.Â â€śThe statistics speak for themselves.Â New York has had one of the lowest donation rates in the country and, within days, we had more than a 4000% increase in the number of registered donors!Â There is no doubt that this feature is going to save lives.Â We all have the power to do this – we just have to register.”
Additionally, Albany native Victoria Comella, currently working as a Senior Publicist for Penguin in New York City, explains to the Huffington PostÂ how she was deeply and personally touched by organ donation.Â When her mother unexpectedly died in a car accident in 2007, her status as an organ donor allowed others to have a new life.Â Not only did a man benefit from her heart, but â€śshe donated a kidney to a single mother in Vermont, and one to someone in New York City where I live. Her lungs went to a man in West Virginiaâ€¦she also donated her liver to someone in New Jersey, and both of her corneas went to people in California.â€ť Comella is in touch with the man who received her motherâ€™s heart and sees how the gift her mother gave affected so many lives.Â She explains, â€śthat is why I urge everyone to take notice of this Facebook mission and become an organ donor if you aren’t already.â€ť
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